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Grand Ducal Standards until c.1903 (Hesse, Germany)

Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine, Grossherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by jarig bakker
Keywords: hesse | grand duke | grossherzog | coat of arms (lion: barry) | garter |
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[Grand Duke's Standard until 1903 (Hesse, Germany)] ~7:10
Standard of the Grand Duke
by Theo van der Zalm and Santiago Dotor
Flag adopted before 1870, abolished c.1903



See also:


Introduction

The correct title was Grossherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein since 1806; before 1806, it was Landgraf von Hessen-Darmstadt (since 1547). Rulers of Hesse-Cassel were Landgraf von Hessen-Kassel (1567-1803), Kurfürst von Hessen (1803-1875), successors use Landgraf von Hessen. Remember that Hesse-Cassel was annexed by Prussia in 1866.

Norman Martin, 25 July 2000

Probably on occasion of issuing the new state arms in 1902 new princely standards [in the form of armorial banners] were also adopted.

Theo van der Zalm, 24 August 2000


Grand Duke's Standard c.1870-c.1903

Standarte des Grossherzogs

[Grand Duke's Standard until 1903 (Hesse, Germany)] ~7:10
by Theo van der Zalm and Santiago Dotor
Flag adopted c.1870, abolished c.1903

A horizontal bicolor red-white. In the center the crowned lesser arms surrounded by garter. In use 1870. Abolished by 1919.

Norman Martin, August 1998

In 1903 the standard reverted to the old form of an armorial banner.

Mario Fabretto, 25 August 1998

The grand duke flew the red-white flag with the shield in the middle with a royal crown and the English Order of the Garter around it [adopted 1839?]. Source: Ströhl 1897.

Theo van der Zalm, 24 August 2000

I wonder when was this standard adopted. The date when the (mid- or late-19th century) grand duke of Hesse became a Garter knight would give an idea. By the way, having a look at Ströhl 1897 reveals how many German sovereigns of the time either were knights of the Garter or used a Garter-like design on their arms, for instance those of Hesse-Darmstadt, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Brunswick and (of course) Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Santiago Dotor, 24 June 2002

Ströhl 1897 shows the standard of the grand duke with a ratio of almost exactly 7:10, while the standard for other members of the grand ducal family and the state flag and ensign are shown as 4:5. I wonder why do neither the grand duke's standard nor the state flag appear in Siebmacher 1878, which is supposed to be a well informed source — particularly for German flags.

Santiago Dotor, 26 June 2002

At François Velde's Heraldica website I found the following grand dukes of Hesse which were Garter knights:

734 (inv 1862) Frederick William Lewis Charles, Prince of Hesse. Afterwards Grand Duke Louis IV, of Hesse.
(...)
745 (inv 1865) Louis III, Grand-Duke of Hesse and the Rhine. Married the Princess Alice, 2nd daughter of Queen Victoria.
(...)
797 (inv 1892) Ernst Ludwig Karl Albrecht Wilhelm, Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine [Hesse-Darmstadt] (1868-1937). Removed 13 May 1915.
So the grand ducal standard with the garter-surrounded arms could have been used since at least 1865 (Louis IV was invested earlier, but became grand duke after 1865).

By the way, this concept of "removing" knights from an Order looks like a modern politically-correct use quite incompatible with the medieval principles of chivalry. Particularly because it has only been used twice, during both World Wars. The only "removed knights" in the above list of 990 knights were German Emperor Wilhelm II and his brother Albrecht, the German crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef II, the King of Württemberg, the Grand Duke of Hesse, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (and Duke of Albany!), Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (and Duke of Cumberland!), all of them removed 13 May 1913, King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy (removed 1940) and Emperor Hirohito of Japan (removed 1941, reinstated 1971). The fact that "bad" removed knights can become "good" again and be reinstated is even more weird!

Santiago Dotor, 27 June 2002


Standard for Other Members of the Grand Ducal Family 1839-c.1903

Standarte des Großherzoglichen Hauses

[Standard for Other Members of the Grand Ducal Family 1839-c.1903 (Hesse, Germany)] 4:5 | stripes 1+2+1
by Santiago Dotor and Theo van der Zalm
Flag adopted 1839, abolished c.1903

This design corresponds to the royal family standard from 1839 until (at least) 1903 — information about its use after 1903 is missing. The state flag and civil ensign 1839-1903 was the same without the crown. The shield should be in the white stripe only touching the red ones.

Mario Fabretto, 25 August 1998

The other members of the grand ducal house used the red-white-red flag, the shield just with the crown. Source: Ströhl 1897.

Theo van der Zalm, 24 August 2000

Ströhl 1897 shows the standard for other members of the grand ducal family with a ratio of 4:5 (same as the state flag and ensign, but the standard of the grand duke almost 7:10). The stripes are in proportion 1+2+1, the escutcheon is as high as the middle (white) stripe and the crown as high as the top (red) stripe.

Santiago Dotor, 26-27 June 2002